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Joby Aviation secures $100M in Series B for electric VTOL; Intel, EDBI, JetBlue and Toyota

Venture-backed startup Joby Aviation has secured $100 million in Series B financing to take its all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft into pre-production and certification. The financing was led by Intel Capital, and includes strategic investors Singapore-based EDBI, JetBlue Technology Ventures, and Toyota AI Ventures.

Also participating are new investors Allen & Company, AME Cloud Ventures, and Ron Conway, as well as existing investors Capricorn Investment Group, 8VC, Sky Dayton and Paul Sciarra. With its previously-unannounced Series A financing led by Capricorn in 2016, this brings the company’s total funding to more than $130 million.

Joby Aviation has designed, built and flight-tested a fully-electric, vertical take-off and landing passenger aircraft prototype that is optimized for local and regional air-transportation-as-a-service.

The company is now focused on developing a commercial version of that design, and preparing that vehicle for certification.

Joby Aviation’s 5-seat vehicle will be faster than existing rotorcraft, fly at least 150 miles on a charge, and be 100 times quieter than conventional aircraft during takeoff and landing, and near-silent in flyover, according to the company.

People waste billions of hours sitting on roads worldwide each year. We envision a future where commuting by eVTOL is a safer, faster, and cost-competitive alternative to ground transportation. We have spent the last ten years developing the technologies that have made our full-scale technical demonstrator possible and are now ready to build a commercial version of the aircraft. We’re excited to have attracted the backing of leaders in auto manufacturing, data intelligence, and transportation sectors.

—Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt

In addition to focusing on product development and flight certification, the company plans to expand its team—including experts in structural engineering, electrical engineering, power electronics, battery electrochemistry, certification, flight controls, and software.

A3 by Airbus also recently announced the successful first flight of its full-scale Alpha One autonomous, electric eVTOL prototype Vahana. (Earlier post.)

Comments

Davemart

I find Toyota's participation interesting.

An aircraft might be a good target for introduction of their solid state battery, if they can get them working, as safety would be paramount and high costs could be tolerated.

HarveyD

Near future improved SS batteries may be required for eVTOL with over 5 passengers capabilities from appropriate roof tops.

Airbus near future Alpha One autonomous eVTOL may become a serious contender.

It could become and effective solution for crowded cities with their associated ground level traffic jams and limited city core parking facilities. Various size autonomous eVTOLs together with ground level shared on call small autonomous e-buses, could solve current high pollution, GHGs, traffic jams and access to parkings in city cores.

SJC

There are better designs, it may be who you know not what you know.

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